A man who got into a row with his mother in law over maintenance payments to her was convicted of manslaughter after he threw her over the bannister to her death.
On the evening of Saturday 12th July 1924 William Brant, a marine fireman, got frustrated about his mother in law Helena Mansfields demands for more maintenance money. He and his six children had been living with her at her Kent Street home since the death of his wife and the row seemed to have started over her refusal to buy onions. After Helena threw a bag of ashes at him Brant went into a fit of rage and picked her up and threw her over the bannister and down the stairs.
Brant then went out saying he was going for a walk, leaving his 17 year old daughter Lilian to seek urgent medical help for Helena who was complaining of chest pains. She was taken to hospital with broken ribs and a broken arm,but eight days later she died. An inquest on 25th July returned a verdict of wilful murder against Brant, who remained at large.
After it was established that 40 year old Brant had managed to get a position on board the Inverleith a wireless message was sent out to the oil tanker and the captain placed him under arrest. On arrival at Tampico in Mexico he was then taken into custody by Mexican guards and transferred to another ship bound for England.
After arriving back at Southampton on 27th August Brant was taken to Liverpool and appeared at the Magistrates' Court on 5th September, when he was committed for trial. His 17 year old daughter Lilian told the hearing that her father had picked her grandmother up 'and held her over his head like she had been a baby' before throwing her a total of thirteen feet.
On 31st October Brant appeared before Mr Justice Avory at the Liverpool assizes, where he was found guilty of manslaughter.Telling Brant that 'People under the influence of drink often commit crimes that they wouldn't dream of when sober', the judge imposed a sentence of seven years penal servitude.